Author: Robin Eggar
Source: Daily Mirror
By Robin Eggar
FRANKIE Goes To Hollywood are celebrating going straight.
Not just scandal-free straight, but straight to the top of the charts for the second time with only their second record.
Their follow-up to Relax - banned by the BBC - is Two Tribes, a song with a hard-hitting anti-war message.
It s chilling video - to be screened on TV for the first time at 1 am. on Channel 4 tonight - shows Presidents Reagan and Chernenko brutally manhandling each other in a sandpit until the globe explodes.
The record cover has Lenin on the front Thatcher and Reagan share the back, alongside charts showing the nuclear capabilities of the superpowers.
“Two Tribes is about the futility of war,” says 24-year-old Paul Rutherford.
“We don’t have a say and we don’t want to die just because we’re in the middle.”
Mark O’Toole adds: “As a band, we set out to do something different. We want to create controversy.”
They certainly managed that with their first hit.
In January this year, Relax was just another pop single cruising up the charts.
Then Radio 1 disc jockey Mike Read objected to the sexual nature of its lyrics and refused to play it any more. His unofficial ban spread throughout the BBC.
Now, after 33 weeks in the charts, the record is back up at No. 5 and well on the way to selling two million copies.
“The whole Relax thing was ridiculous,” Paul says. “Mike Read had no right to censor it”.
The five Frankies - Brian Nash (guitar), Peter Gill (drums) and Mark O’Toole (bass guitar) plus singers William “Holly” Johnson and Paul Rutherford - insist they are just ordinary Liverpool lads who enjoy a pint and a laugh.
Paul and Holly are gay - and proud of it - but all five stress this is irrelevant to the band’s image.
“At the beginning Holly and I were very honest and totally naive,” says Paul.
“I’m glad I’m gay, I’m glad we came clean about it, but we’re not waving any banners.
“I’m bored with the obsession with sex. There are a million and one people you can interview about being gay.
“We are entertainers.”
Mark says: “We’re not worried by Holly and Paul.
“And because my dad knows them both he doesn’t go round saying ‘I hate queers’ any more.”
Behind the outrageous image, their ambition is simple. They wish to be the biggest band in the world.
They already believe they are the best.